Michael G. Turner

October 30, 2018
To the Shipley community,

I am both excited and humbled to have been named as Shipley’s next head of school. Thank you for the warmth and energy I felt from everyone throughout the search. These will serve as a touchstone for me as I aspire to build upon Steve’s legacy and Shipley’s 125 years of success.

The search for a head of school is a search for someone who will not only lead, but join you in loving the school you hold dear. Often, we do not see what we love as others see it. Born and raised in the Philadelphia region, but living elsewhere for the past thirteen years, I have the benefit of knowing Shipley while seeing it with new eyes. So I would like to take this opportunity to share with you what I see and already love at Shipley.

It is rare for a school of Shipley’s caliber also to possess so much potential. Long renowned for educational excellence, love of learning, and compassionate participation in the world, Shipley has taken bold new strides to ensure students are prepared to thrive in a dynamic and frequently challenging world. Shipley’s strategic plan, Vision 20/26, recognizes that we cannot predict with certainty everything our students will need to learn, do, and be. So it positions the School to pursue sustained and sustainable progress while remaining grounded in the values that have defined Shipley for well over a century. Never content to merely adapt to change, Shipley is poised to help shape a global shift in how schools educate students’ hearts and minds. Positive Education’s evidenced-based approach has the potential to secure for years to come Shipley’s belief that its unique combination of academic excellence and attention to personal wellbeing best prepares students for college – and for life. These initiatives align with my personal and pedagogical philosophies, and are among the principal reasons I am eager to begin exploring Shipley’s promise.

I love that at Shipley “smart” is not enough. Here there is a commitment to inspiring and preparing students to live lives of purpose and embrace serving their communities. I saw this firsthand in the extraordinary teaching and learning on campus. It is a message, a mission, a school I am inspired to lead. This culture of compassion is one in which Meredith and I know our own children will thrive, largely because Shipley pursues its mission through an embrace of the benefits afforded by diversity, equity, and inclusion. Shipley has demonstrated courage for the deed of leaning into discomfort inherent in the work necessary to form such a community. Just as intelligence must be coupled with compassion for students to positively impact those around them, courage must be combined with commitment to realizing authentic celebration of diversity as a pillar of strength. Vision 20/26 and Positive Education invest in the type of personal discovery which forms the foundation for profound and lasting growth in students’ appreciation of difference, awareness of bias, and pursuit of a place and time when not only Shipley students, but all people are able to be their full best selves. There is much more to do, as there will always be in this field. As someone whose drive to teach has been grounded in this work, I am energized to share my understandings and skills with similarly committed educators and the entire community.

Shipley boasts unsurpassed academics as well as vibrant arts and athletics programs. Yet, perhaps its most remarkable quality is its climate of palpable kindness and genuine humility. Many an independent school graduate is prepared to tackle the dynamic, demanding world described above. Shipley students, though, are also prepared to shape that same world for good because they know who they are, understand how they think and feel, and are able to admire and cultivate the same in others. Shipley has so much to offer, and a great story to tell. I’m excited to help you share it.

Finally, allow me again to express my gratitude to the Board of Trustees, the search committee, colleagues, families, alumni, and most importantly the students for the hospitality with which you welcomed Meredith and me throughout the search process. Moving back to the Philadelphia region represents a homecoming for our family. Meredith, Maggie, Fran, August and I could not be more thrilled to join the Shipley family. The care and thoughtfulness you have already shown us is a big part of that. We look forward enthusiastically to returning the favor.

With appreciation and anticipation,
Michael G. Turner

October 29, 2018 
Dear Shipley Community,  

On behalf of the Shipley Board of Trustees, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Michael G. Turner as the tenth Head of The Shipley School. Following the robust search process, which included all members of the Shipley community, the Board overwhelmingly supports the Search Committee’s recommendation of Michael.  

Michael is a lifelong learner. He is a graduate of Germantown Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude). Having next earned a Master of Education from Arcadia University, he expects to complete a Doctorate of Education at The College of William & Mary in May 2019. Currently Head of School at St. Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond, VA, Michael will join the Shipley community effective July 1, 2019. 

Michael is also a forward-thinking, compassionate, and experienced Head of School. Building on an impressive range of administrative positions, Michael will bring outstanding leadership and management to the School, as well as a strong personal commitment to diversity and inclusion, educational excellence, and student well-being. The committee was impressed with Michael’s transformative leadership at St. Michael’s, where he laid out a clear and innovative vision for the School, developed a comprehensive strategic plan to advance that vision, and successfully executed against the strategic plan. The committee was also impressed by the strong rapport he enjoys with St. Michael’s administrators, faculty, families, and students. Michael’s demonstrated commitment to the student and family experience at St. Michael’s, as well as his personal warmth and engagement, make him an excellent fit at Shipley. 

Looking ahead, Michael is excited to continue to get to know our community and to advance our work in both Positive Education and the strategic plan. Michael said, "My recent trips to campus have reaffirmed what I’ve always known about Shipley, that it is a diverse and welcoming community that cherishes learning and the relationships which enrich that learning."  

I want to take a moment to thank the Search Committee and its co-chairs, Lisa Schoenberg and Adam Spector. With their guidance, the Search Committee led a thorough, inclusive, and transparent process focused on the mission, vision, and needs of the School. I have also appreciated the engagement and enthusiasm that the entire Shipley community—our trustees, colleagues, families, students, and alumni—has brought to this important process. 

I also want to thank Steve Piltch for his remarkable leadership over the past 27 years. Shipley has so much to be proud of: a rigorous and highly competitive college-preparatory program; talented and committed colleagues; beautifully renovated and newly built facilities designed to enhance our programs and community experience; groundbreaking work in Positive Education; and a strong reputation in both local and national communities. Michael’s deep experience in independent school leadership, outstanding personal characteristics, and commitment to Shipley’s mission have prepared him to guide Shipley into the future. I am confident that under his leadership, and with the support of our diverse and inclusive community, Shipley will continue to enhance its reputation as a premier academic institution that advances both achievement and student wellbeing, and thrive for the next 125 years. 

Please join me in welcoming Michael, his wife Meredith, and their three children – Maggie, Fran, and August. We look forward to each of you having a chance to meet Michael and his family as they begin this wonderful new adventure here at Shipley.
Brooksley Wylie

Chair, Shipley Board of Trustees

Head of School Search
In January 2018, Shipley’s Board of Trustees announced the search for Shipley’s tenth Head of School, due to the retirement of Steve Piltch in June 2019. Please find below details about the process, the search committee, the intended timeline, and letters to the community.
Since 1894, Shipley has been dedicated to educational excellence, love of learning, and compassionate participation in the world. Our graduates leave Shipley uniquely prepared for college and for life.

List of 5 items.

  • Our Mission and Motto

    Mission: The Shipley School, a Pre-Kindergarten through 12 coeducational day school, is committed to educational excellence and dedicated to developing in each student a love of learning and a compassionate participation in the world. Through a strong college preparatory curriculum in the humanities and sciences, the school encourages curiosity, creativity, and respect for intellectual effort. Shipley upholds and promotes moral integrity, a sense of personal achievement and worth, and concern for others at school and in the larger community.
    Motto: Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing
  • Search Committee Members

    The search committee is made up of representatives from many Shipley Constituencies.

    Josh Berberian
    Josh has been teaching mathematics for over 25 years, and he has been at Shipley since 1997. Josh has been the Head of the Mathematics Department since 2005. He co-leads a colleague committee that utilizes research methods to analyze the impact of socio-cultural identifiers, like race and socio-economic status, on the student experience at Shipley. Committed to teaching and learning, he also co-leads the mentoring program for new teaching colleagues. Josh has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Brown University and is currently working on his thesis in pursuit of a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Extension School in mathematics for teaching. Josh received an Honorary Alumni Award from Shipley (2014), as well as the Margaret Bailey Speer Distinguished Teacher Award (2004), and the Trustee Award for Excellence (2002).

    Melissa Bergen
    Melissa and her husband, Bill, have been members of the community since 2007 when their daughter, Katie (Shipley ’21), enrolled in Pre-K. Their son, Kyle (Shipley ’24), enrolled in Pre-K in 2010. Melissa is a very active parent volunteer, co-chairing the Annual Fund and previously co-chairing the Shipley Auction. Melissa has volunteered with the Leadership Council of the Annual Fund, the Spring Auction, Secret Gardens, and for Shipley Shops. She is an Admissions Parent Ambassador and regularly a Lower and Middle School Grade Coordinator. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Melissa previously worked for Johnson & Johnson for 23 years as Director of Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Ethicon Endo Surgery. She worked to develop collaboration and unity within marketing at both companies to make J&J an inviting and challenging place to work where creativity and risk-taking are valued. Melissa believes Shipley exemplifies what she strived to do while working at J&J.

    Betsy Hastings Block ’83
    Betsy has been a member of Shipley’s Development Office since she joined Shipley as a colleague in 2009 and she currently serves as the Associate Director of Development. Her ties to the school date back to 1970 when she joined Shipley as a Kindergartener and she has been an active volunteer, both for her class and for the alumni body at large. She served on the Alumni Board from 2006-2013, and in her role as President, served on Shipley’s Board of Trustees from 2007-2009. A graduate of Amherst College, Betsy and her husband, Luke, have two sons: Davis (Shipley ’19) and Rory (Shipley ’22). Betsy has served in fundraising capacities for Amherst College, Springside School, The Hill School, and the Willistown Conservation Trust. She volunteers for the Cardiac Center at CHOP, serves as a peer counselor for the Adult Congenital Heart Association, and is a board member at Appleford.
    Eric T. Bradlow
    Eric is the K.P. Chao Professor, Professor of Marketing, Statistics, Education and Economics, Chairperson of the Wharton Marketing Department and Co-Director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School, an A.M. in Mathematical Statistics, and a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics from Harvard University. Eric joined the Wharton faculty in 1996. He was recently named one of eight inaugural University of Pennsylvania Fellows, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the American Education Research Association, a Fellow of the Wharton Risk Center, and a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. His academic research interests include Bayesian modeling, statistical computing, and developing new methodology for unique data structures with application to business problems, education and psychometrics, and health outcomes. Eric and his wife, Laura (co-chair of the 2008 Shipley Shops and an active volunteer), have three sons: Ethan (Shipley ’15), Zachary (Shipley ’18), and Benjamin (Shipley ’24).
    Mimi Keller Drake ’86
    Mimi is the President of Permit Capital Advisors, LLC, an independent investment advisory firm in West Conshohocken, PA. Prior to Permit Capital Advisors, Mimi was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Defiance Asset Management, LLC, an equity hedge fund. Mimi received her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Economics from Trinity College. She attended Harvard University's Radcliffe Publishing Course in 1990 and spent three years in magazine publishing prior to attending Wharton. Mimi is Chair of the Board of Directors of 100 Women in Hedge Funds Association and Foundation, a 10,000-member global organization. Mimi served as a Board member and former Chair of the Board of Directors of 100 Women in Finance Association and Foundation, a 15,000-member global organization. She also serves on the Board of the American Friends of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Episcopal Community Services and Verus LLC. Mimi graduated from Shipley in 1986. Mimi and her husband, Tom, have three children: Will (Shipley ’18), Tyler (Shipley ’20), and George (Shipley ’24).
    Fred Fletcher
    Fred Fletcher is an active Shipley Trustee Emeritus who has been involved with the Shipley Board since 1991 (Board Chair from 1998-2002). He was a member of Shipley’s last Head Search Committee in 1990-1991. Fred grew up in Villanova and attended the Haverford Friends School and graduated from The Haverford School, Washington and Lee University, and Washington and Lee School of Law. In 2004, he received his Master’s degree in Trial Advocacy from Temple. Before his retirement in 2014, Fred was a partner in a Philadelphia law firm specializing in defense litigation in various civil matters. Fred’s sister, wife, and daughters are all graduates of Shipley.
    Mike Hill
    Mike Hill and his wife, Alisa Giardinelli, joined the Shipley community in 2014 when they enrolled their daughter, Veronica (Shipley ’28), in Pre-K. Mike is the Director of Public Safety at Swarthmore College, a position he has held since 2012. For 25 years prior, he held a series of progressive roles in Bryn Mawr College's public safety department, including Director of Operations for Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Mike's service to his field also includes serving on a number of external review teams at colleges and universities around the country. Mike is a strong advocate for community engagement and has created campus community training programs that focus on identity theft, alcohol education, sexual assault, and fire safety. He has also collaborated with the Montgomery County Victim Services to train students and officers on domestic violence hotline services and received the Victim Services Center of Montgomery County 2011 Matty Muir Award for his efforts. Mike is the President of the Campus Security Directors Association of the Delaware Valley and a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the Northeast Colleges and Universities Security Association, and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. Mike has a B.A. in Social Science from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Certified Protection Professional through the American Society for Industrial Security. He is also a certified instructor in women's self-defense, nonviolent crisis intervention, and advanced threat assessment. After serving 25 years in the United States Army Reserve, including several years as a drill instructor, Mike retired in 2014 as a Chief Warrant Officer and is now the quartermaster for Memorial Post 7650 VFW.
    Marjorie G. Katz
    Marjie holds a B.A. in Sociology from Boston University and an M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She began her teaching career in the Oak Lane Day School’s second grade. This teaching experience led to a specialized reading and math teaching position in The Philadelphia School’s first through fourth grades. Ultimately, Marjie’s teaching career brought her to Merion Elementary School’s second grade in Lower Merion. In 2017, Marjie joined The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Board of Overseers. Marjie has been a constant presence at Shipley since 1999. As a Shipley mother, she has participated in almost every activity for which a parent can volunteer: Class Coordinator, Annual Giving Committee, Shipley Shops and the Shipley Auction. She is chair the Community Engagement committee of the Board and also the Head of the Parent Coordinators. Marjie and her husband, David, have three children: Sophie (Shipley ’13), Joshua (Shipley ’15), and Henry (Shipley ’19).
    Thomas W. Nammack
    Tom is the Headmaster of The Montclair Kimberley Academy (MKA) in Montclair, NJ. Prior to becoming Headmaster of MKA, Tom worked at Shipley, where he taught history and served as Dean of Students from 1988-1993 and Head of Upper School from 1993 to 2005. Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University and a Master’s of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Tom is a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Tom’s wife, Zandi, worked at Shipley in both teaching and administrative roles for 23 years. Their two children, Marion and Travers, attended Shipley from Pre-K to 6th and 7th grades, respectively. Tom and Zandi are honorary alumni of Shipley.
    Lisa Schoenberg
    Lisa is an independent Strategic Consultant, with a focus on Life Science businesses. Prior to this, she was a Vice President at AstraZeneca responsible for the P&L delivery of a broad portfolio of products, including marketing, drug development, and life cycle management. Lisa also served as Vice President of Marketing Strategy for AstraZeneca, where she was responsible for leading all strategic and operational marketing functions. She currently serves on various boards, including public, private, for and not-for-profit businesses. Lisa received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Lisa and her husband, Doug, have two children: Adam (Shipley ’14), and Allison (Shipley ’16).
    Jack Slye
    Jack is a Partner with LLR Partners, a private equity firm with more than $3.0 billion under management, where he co-leads the firm’s education and healthcare investments. Before joining LLR, Jack was a Principal at Sterling Partners, where he focused on healthcare and education investments. Previously, Jack was Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development at Sylvan Learning. Jack earned his B.S. from the University of Maryland and his MBA from Wharton. Jack and his wife, Alisha, have two children who attend Shipley: Sam (‘27) and Barrett (‘29).
    Adam B. Spector ’86
    Adam first joined the Shipley Board in 1999 and served as its Chair from 2011 to 2017. Adam is the Managing Partner of Brandywine Global Investment Management, an institutional asset management firm with $75 billion under management from clients in over fifty countries. Before joining Brandywine Global in 1997, Adam was a director in the international investment management group for SEI Investments (1991-1997) and Managing Director for Ameritek Business Systems in Prague, Czechoslovakia (1990-1991). Adam also serves on the Board of the Children’s Literacy Initiative. He graduated from Shipley in 1986 and has a B.A. in Public Policy and Anthropology from Brown University, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Adam earned an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Adam and his wife Sylvia, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Shipley, have three children: Abigail (Shipley ’13), Jordan (Shipley ’14), and Evan (Shipley ’16).
    Brooksley Wylie
    Brooksley attended Duke University and graduated with a B.A. in Economics. She has a J.D. from Stanford University School of Law. Following law school, Brooksley practiced first at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, CA and then at Berra · Spence in San Mateo, CA. Although she gave up practice to raise her boys and move east, she continues with periodic contract assignments as an Of Counsel attorney. A committed member of the Shipley community, Brooksley has served in various roles over the years and is presently Chair of the Board. Brooksley is an active volunteer in youth soccer and also has also been active with Duke University Reunions, The West Hill School, The Phoebe Anna Thorne School, Haverford Friends School, and served on the Duke University Children’s Hospital Board of Advisors. She continues to be involved with her high school, Crystal Springs and Uplands Schools in Hillsborough, CA. Brooksley's two sons—Cameron (’14) and Austin (’17)—attended Shipley.

    Search Committee Advisors
    In addition to our search committee, we have appointed 4 advisors to support the work of the Search Committee.  Each of these advisors is a current or past parent of students at Shipley as well as trustees.  They bring exceptional expertise from their professional lives that greatly benefit the Search Committee. 

    John Fry, Former Trustee, P’13, P’19, President of Drexel University

    Karlene McRae, Current Trustee, Recent Parent, Dean of the College at Colby.
    John Murabito, Former Trustee, P’15, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and  Services, Cigna Corporation.
     Dan Weiss, Trustee, P’17, President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • FAQs

    What is the timeline for the search? The search will begin in March with on-campus meetings with our search firm, Brigham Hill. The consultants will meet with a wide variety of Shipley constituents, and the product of these conversations and an online survey will be the search profile, which describes the school, the position, and the qualities we seek in the next Head of School. The search firm will use that information to identify prospective candidates and will report back to the Search Committee sometime in late May or early June. During the summer break, the consultants will personally interview a number of prospective candidates and will provide detailed written reports to the Search Committee in advance of meeting with the committee to determine semifinalist candidates. During the latter part of the summer, the Search Committee will interview semifinalists, with the hope that finalists will be invited for meetings with a broader range of constituents in the fall. If all goes well, the school will come to an agreement with one of the candidates and an announcement will be made during the fall. The new Head of School will take office officially in July 2019.
    Why does the search take so long? Head of school searches are unique. A number of factors have combined over the years to make the above timetable typical for any head of school search. These factors include contracts between schools and their heads, the custom of a head of school providing substantial notice to his or her school, the desire for the entire school community to be involved in the search, the need for candidates and Search Committees to have time for deliberation and reflection, and scheduling issues.
    What is the role of the Board of Trustees in the search for the permanent Head of School? What is the role of the Search Committee? What roles will colleagues, parents, students, alumni, and other constituents have in the process? The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring long-term success and sustainability of the school; one of the Board’s most important responsibility is hiring the Head of School, who in turn is responsible for the day-to-day management and leadership of the school.
    The Search Committee is tasked with identifying and evaluating candidates for the Head of School position and making a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board as a whole then votes on the appointment of the candidate as Head of School.
    While the Board is responsible for the ultimate decision-making in the search process, the opinions and insights of colleagues, students, parents, alumni, and others are critical to the process. Opportunities for various stakeholders to provide input about the school and the qualities sought in the next Head of School are discussed below.
    How was the Search Committee appointed? In considering how best to comprise our Search Committee, the Board of Trustees consulted a variety of sources. The Search Committee is comprised of a majority of current and past Board members, who are current and former parents and in some cases also alumni. To ensure that the search benefits from the perspectives of colleagues who are engaged in the daily life of the school, two colleagues have also been appointed to the committee. Specific qualities sought in Search Committee members include the ability to think about the school from a strategic perspective, to balance long- and short-term goals, to devote the substantial time necessary at various stages of the process, and to maintain confidentiality in order to ensure candidates’ willingness to enter into conversations about the opportunity.
    Who is the search firm? Brigham Hill Consultancy is a retained executive search firm that serves only not-for-profit organizations, and specializes in independent school head of school and senior administrative searches. The firm’s founder and president, Linc Eldredge, will lead our search in partnership with his colleague, Jessica McCann. Brigham Hill is a national firm with clients across the country. More about the firm can be found online at www.brighamhill.com.
    How can I express my opinions about the search? The first opportunity to provide input is during Brigham Hill’s on-campus visit on March 1-3. For those who cannot attend the in-person meetings or who have additional input to share, we will also provide an online questionnaire. Responses go directly to Brigham Hill Consultancy. The firm will review all responses and provide the Search Committee with suggestions, opinions, and insights gleaned from the questionnaires. We have also established an email address: HoSSearch@shipleyschool.org and you are also encouraged to share your thoughts and questions directly to this email.

    Will the Search Committee consider a diverse group of candidates? How will diversity be important in the process? The Search Committee and the Board of Trustees are committed to attracting and meeting candidates of diverse backgrounds with regards to race, gender, ethnicity, and other personal qualities and with regards to professional experience. We have expressed this as a priority to the search firm and they are committed to presenting us with well-qualified candidates who meet these criteria. We have been working closely with the search firm to understand the myriad influences on a school’s ability to generate a diverse candidate pool and to ensure they and we are employing strategies not only to attract diverse candidates but also to ensure that they are given full consideration. Because men of color and women of all races are still underrepresented at the head of school level, particularly in PK-12 schools, one important strategy will be remaining open to the possibility of a first-time head of school or leaders from outside of the independent school field who may bring the skills, knowledge, and personal qualities we are seeking.

    The Board seeks to hire a Head of School who genuinely values diversity, consistent with the values of the Shipley community, and who will support the School’s continued growth in these areas. One of our current Trustees has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the specific areas of diversity and inclusion and we are pleased that Karlene McRae has agreed to serve as a special advisor to the Search Committee. Karlene is currently Dean of the College at Colby with direct responsibility for campus-wide diversity and civic engagement efforts.  She is a former associate dean of students and executive director of the Center for Identity and Inclusion at the University of Chicago and, just prior, was Director of Student Affairs at Swarthmore College.

    We look forward to continued conversations with and input from the Shipley community as the search progresses and encourage all members of the community to participate in the forthcoming online survey.

    What information will the Search Committee share with the school community regarding the progress and the candidates being considered? The Search Committee will provide periodic updates and communicate the general progress of the search throughout the process, and is committed to being as transparent as possible. In order to protect the current positions of candidates, however, the committee cannot disclose the names of people under consideration or when they will be in town for the first round of interviews. Finalist interviews may include members of the school community beyond the Search Committee, depending on the degree of confidentiality required by the candidates.
    How will members of the Shipley community be involved in the search process? The search firm will visit campus on March 1-3 for meetings with a wide variety of constituents, including colleagues, parents, alumni, students, board members, and other friends of Shipley. While the consultants will share details about the search process, their primary goal will be to learn about our school, to gather input about the short- and long-term priorities for Shipley, and to hear what qualities community members believe the next Head of School should possess. These conversations will inform the search profile, which will be used to promote the position. In addition, there will be an online survey through which community members can offer similar input about our school’s future and our next leader.
    It is the Search Committee’s hope that the finalist stage of the search will also include similar involvement from a broad range of Shipley constituents. However, our consultants have advised us that candidates are increasingly concerned about confidentiality even at the finalist stage of a search process. It is important to keep in mind that, while the finalists may have disclosed their candidacies to their direct supervisors, it can be very disruptive to a school community if teachers, staff members, parents, and students were also to learn that their head or another key administrator is involved in a search. The Search Committee may be faced with a choice between having a more “closed” process or losing exceptional candidates. The committee is committed to having as much involvement as possible from stakeholders beyond the Search Committee at the finalist stage, but we will have to make a determination about the structure of the finalist visits later in the search process.
    How can I recommend a candidate? Please send an email to Jessica McCann at mccann@brighamhill.com.  
    Should the candidates be current heads of school? Very possibly, but not necessarily. There are obvious benefits to recruiting someone who has already been a head because he or she would have learned quite a bit about the role, would undoubtedly have made some mistakes and learned from them, and presumably would bring maturity and perspective to the school. On the other hand, someone who has been an assistant head of school or division head with notable authority and autonomy, who has been well mentored, who has experiences that are sought by Shipley, and whose leadership manner and style are compelling, would also be of great interest. And there is also the possibility of a non-traditional candidate. The search is structured to invite a variety of prospective candidates, both sitting heads and others, and the Search Committee will evaluate each candidate on his or her own merits to determine whether or not to continue discussions with a given individual.
    Is this a national search? Yes, and a global search as well. There is intense competition across the country for accomplished educational leaders. Thus we will invite candidates from any and all geographic areas. We recognize that our region and city are unique and, accordingly, we will seek people whose temperaments, values, and personal styles are compatible with our culture.

    Will there be an interim Head of School?
    The Search Committee’s goal is to hire a permanent Head of School to be in place by June 2019.  That said, the Board’s process does allow for the appointment of an interim head if in the course of the search it is determined that such an appointment is advisable.
    Will the future direction of Shipley change with a new Head of School?
    The Board is fully committed to the future direction laid out in the Strategic Plan, including the adoption of Positive Education. During the Strategic Planning process, the Board reaffirmed the School’s commitment to its mission: educational excellence, compassionate participation in the world, and developing in each student a love of learning.  As a school, we have always been committed to educational excellence and character development – development of the whole person, and that will not change.  That said, of course new leadership will bring a new perspective on how best to attain our goals and we are looking forward to welcoming Shipley’s 10th Head of School.
  • Letters to the Shipley Community

  • About Our Search Firm

    Based in Dallas, Brigham Hill Consultancy is a boutique executive search firm that specializes exclusively in serving nonprofit organizations and has extensive experience conducting searches for independent schools across the nation. The firm placed the current Heads of School at National Presbyterian School, Holton-Arms School, McLean School of Maryland, and Green Acres School.  Brigham Hill has also conducted senior administrative searches at National Cathedral School, Sidwell Friends School, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, Landon School, Holton-Arms School, and The Lab School.  More details about the firm and our consultants, Linc Eldredge and Jessica McCann, can be found at www.brighamhill.com.

Search Profile

The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.